Louis Gooren slams Bailey's book on transsexuals

Below are critical reactions of Dutch endocrinologist Dr. Louis Gooren and Dr. Peggy Cohen-Kettenis about sexologists J. Michael Bailey and Ray Blanchard, following publication of Bailey's lurid book on gender variance, The Man Who Would Be Queen.

Excerpted from NRC, September 27, 2003

Author Peter Vermey.

Translation: Arianne van der Ven.

Endocrinologist Louis Gooren got a request from the US to quash Bailey's book in a scientific magazine. Gooren refused, because of lack of time, he says, not because he supports Bailey. On the contrary, the professor does not hide his dislike.

Gooren calls Bailey a "redneck, a rude offensive man who in the past, as a researcher often got out of line". The professor has only browsed through the book, but saw more than enough. "Science should not try to fit itself to public stereotype with a high "see that? I always thought so content"", says Gooren. "As scientists we have our own methodologies".

Psychologist Peggy Cohen-Kettenis reacts less negative. She is, after reading parts of the book not surprised about the row, but "when Bailey says that sexual preference and gender identity are not two entirely independent dimensions, he is not necessarily wrong", she says.

In contrast to Bailey, Cohen-Kettenis expresses herself very diplomatic. As no other she knows the sensitivity of this terrain and the ease with which a "conflict can be created around this issue". The psychologist agrees that not all transsexuals are heavily gender-dysphoric in youth. She attributes the dominance of "the woman captured in a man's body" image, to it's endless repetition by the media.


Gooren is scathing about Blanchard's work. "It may seem logical to call a transsexual a homosexual in an odd theoretical sense (as when referring to genetic sex, translator), in the experience of the transsexual however, it is a non-sense". And he has never seen a patient looking forward to SRS with sexual excitement. Cohen-Kettenis shares Gooren's objections to terms like homosexual and non-homosexual transsexuals. She would rather differentiate between early and late onset transsexuals. But apart from the terminology, these groups are very similar to those of Bailey and Blanchard.
Primary TSs are more often homosexual while secondary TSs usually have had straight relationships before entering treatment, Cohen-Kettenis explains.

"In the second group, during puberty cross-dressing is often paired with sexual excitement " she says. "When they enter treatment however, the cross dressing is very restful".

Cohen-Kettenis estimates half the number of TSs are secondary TSs. Whether all secondary TSs have had a autogynophile history she cannot say. "Extreme gender dysphoria can, I think, come to be in all sorts of ways. Secondary TSs are a very diverse group. We also see people who still are autogynophile."

Cohen-Kettenis thinks that patient care will not be influenced by this theory. TSs do not have to fear that Cohen would see autogynophilia as a disqualification for treatment. The decisive factor is the suffering of the client, and whether treatment can indeed help to relieve the pain. In this, Blanchard and Bailey agree and mention that autogynophiliacs do not have a higher rate of post-treatment regrets.

The whole article available in Dutch on <http://www.europeants.org/WTPS/Papers/man_gevangen.htm>.